Today, Sunday, September 23, 2018, is the first full day of Autumn. As we mark this seasonal change, we continue our journey through Ordinary Time and Mark’s Gospel on this 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Following last week’s profession of faith by Peter (“Who do you say that I am?” “You are the Christ.”), and Jesus’ rebuking Peter’s misunderstanding of what being “the Christ” means, Jesus teaches in unmistakable terms that being “the Christ” or “the Messiah” leads to suffering and death. Jesus sees his mission as Messiah in the pattern of Isaiah’s suffering servant. The disciples again give ample evidence that they do not understand what Jesus is teaching. They fail to grasp not only his suffering, but his servanthood. Instead, they argue among themselves who is most important! Jesus continues to teach them – he places before them a child, a person with no status and no possessions. To follow Jesus the Messiah, the disciples must accept him in the poverty and lack of status of a servant – but the servant of God.
Thank you to those who shared their personal faith stories at our Masses last weekend and invited us to sign-up for small groups in the Be My Witness initiative beginning in our parish in October. Their stories echoed the message of John Donahue-Grossman last weekend as he reminded us of our call to be missionary disciples invited us to participate in Be My Witness beginning in October. Be My Witness invites all of us to become partners in the New Evangelization by participating in parish-based small groups. Sharing faith within a small group is a real way to encounter the person of Christ, reawaken and grow in our faith, and to share that faith in missionary outreach.
Sign up for small groups took place at our Masses last weekend. Thank you to those who signed up last weekend. If you didn’t have a chance to sign up for a group, please consider the invitation to participate in a small group. Additional information is available at the Hospitality Desk and at www.StIsidoreParish.org/Be-My-Witness-2 .
Bishop Conlon has sent us a letter which he asked to be included in our bulletin this weekend. In addition to the Bishop’s letter, I offer the following:
A message from Pope Francis ~ “It is essential that we, as a Church, be able to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics, and all those entrusted with the mission of watching over and caring fro those most vulnerable. Let us beg forgiveness for our own sins and the sins of others. An awareness of Sin helps us to acknowledge the errors, the crimes and the wounds caused in the past and allows us, in the present, to be more open and committed along a journey of renewed conversion.” August 20, 2018
The following PRAYER FOR OUR CHURCH was provided by our Diocesan Office of Divine Worship.
Heavenly Father, in every age, you have been our refuge. Yet again and still, we stand before you
asking for your protection on your Church. We place our Church in your hands, for without you we can do nothing. May Jesus, our High Priest and true compass, continue to lead her in every thought and action — to be an instrument of justice, a source of consolation, a sacrament of unity, and a manifestation of your faithful covenant.
For the victims of abuse and their families, pour out your healing and your peace.
For the leaders of your Church, pour out your Spirit to guide them and inspire their decisions.
For those who have followed your call to serve you and your people in holiness, sustain them by your grace.
For all the faithful who are searching for answers, embrace them with your love, restore their trust, console them with your clear Gospel message, and renew them with your sacraments.
We ask this in the name of your Son and our Brother, through the Holy Spirit, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever. Amen.
May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy